Monaghan stars won't retire: Colin Walshe
Monaghan's All-Star corner-back Colin Walshe has confirmed there will be no retirements from the team that won the Ulster Championship, as they face life in 2014 as defending champions.
There had been speculation that a number of experienced campaigners, including captain Eoin Lennon and attacker Tommy Freeman, were able to bring the curtain down on their careers, but not now, according to the Doohamlet man.
"I think the players took a bit of time off to look at things themselves and to make their decisions," explained Walshe.
"You can see why some boys might take their time, they have been around for a while and they have won an Ulster title. So if they have a good time at Christmas with their family they might think of coming back."
Last year, Walshe played right through the season and won Ulster and then an All-Star, despite the fact he was nursing his body throughout. He dislocated his shoulder almost 12 months ago, chipping a bone at the front of his shoulder and tearing ligaments at the back.
With Doohamlet safe from possible relegation and out of the domestic Championship he had a choice of getting an operation or else doing eight weeks of rehabilitation work, and opted for the latter. As a result, he declares himself mad for the road ahead of the McKenna Cup campaign.
He admits that as Ulster champions, Monaghan now see the world through different eyes and will have greater expectations.
"You are coming to it with a different approach to the past," he commented.
"At the same time it's all down to getting in your hard work and taking a game at a time, looking at the McKenna Cup.
"Then we are looking into Division Two that is anybody's to win. It's the same as last year, with a settled team and management and everybody wants to push on and keep improving."
He also feels that Division Two will prove much better preparation for the Championship season, with Armagh, Donegal and Down all in the second tier of the National league.
"That's it. You are coming up against the likes of Donegal. Division two is a difficult task," warned Walshe.
"Last year we were delighted to get out of Division Three, it was something that we set out, that we wanted to get back up.
"Our goal is to get back to playing at the highest level but you are going to be coming up against teams that you are going to be meeting later in the Championship so you are going to be up against it."
Walshe is selected to play for UUJ in the McKenna Cup, ahead of their assault on the Sigerson Cup later in the year, hosted by Queen's.